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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

150                          IJFE OF
were incorporated into their relative groups, and the
entire system of nature in its great natural laws was
revealed  to   the   inquiring   human mind.    Thus  ho
became, as we have shown, the founder of compara-
tive geograpny ; he was the founder of a .new theory
of geology, and in a work prepared by him tiucl Ids
friend Leopold von Buch, he referred to the influence
of the volcanic agency on the formation  and conti-
nual  alterations  of the  earth.,   rejecting Ms  teacher
(Werner's) theory of   Neptuniamus, * and accjuiriiig
new facts on-volcanic agency; he was the founder of
botanical geography., a new theory on, the laws of the
distribution of plants; he was the discoverer of a now
world with new phenomena, new manners, new lan-
guages, and traditional remains of an entirely xiuima-
gined antiquity ; he was the reformer and teacher of
a new chartography for accurate delineation and sjupor-
visual   description  of large  territories ;   he  was  the
representative   of a new mode  of treating  natural
science in  general, which  he   created  himself,   and
which has been developed by the tendencies of the
present age*    This  system,   striving for universality,,
studies the connexion of the various fields of nature
in its most secret recesses and with pure experience,
without speculative  deduction or   explanation,   only
seeks facts, arranges, combines, and explores the inti-
mate  connexion of cause  and effect as a means for
the   comprehension   of*natiiral  laws.     He   was   the
founder of the new school which combines physical
science with the history of humanity, and which has
been the most prolific in unexpected results.    This
mathematically " EXACT " method was originated by
Htunboldt ;   it has  been   adopted  by  the   greatest
scholars, but it has also unfortunately led to the moat
trivial empiricism with those who  only know Hum-
boldt's method, but  are  incapable  of imitating his
mental aptitude  for  combination  and   his   intuitive
power,
* Explanation of the formation of the world by the eflteefcs andt de-
posits of the waters of the earth.